The aim of the proposal is to investigate the absorption properties of a sample of inter-mediate redshift quasars. The main goals of the project are: Measure the redshift and the column density of the X-ray absorbers; test the correlation between absorption and redshift suggested by ROSAT and ASCA data; constrain the absorber ionization status and metallicity; constrain the absorber dust content and composition through the comparison between the amount of X-ray absorption and optical dust extinction. Unanticipated low energy cut-offs where discovered in ROSAT spectra of quasars and confirmed by ASCA, BeppoSAX and Chandra. In most cases it was not possible to constrain adequately the redshift of the absorber from the X-ray data alone. Two possibilities remain open: a) absorption at the quasar redshift; and b) intervening absorption. The evidences in favour of intrinsic absorption are all indirect. Sensitive XMM observations can discriminate between these different scenarios. If the absorption is at the quasar redshift we can study whether the quasar environment evolves with the Cosmic time.